A Brief History of Roller Derby
Editorials News | Jan-29-2018
Roller Derby is a full contact sport that is played by 2 teams of 5 members each. The teams skate in the same direction around the track. Game involves a series of short matchups or jams in which there is a player called Jammer that scores point by lapping members of the opposing team.
Each member is playing both offense and defense simultaneously by assisting their own jammer while hindering the other. It was from late 1800's when people started enjoying skating that involved speed, endurance and rowdiness. But, it was not until 1932 that the concept of Roller Derby was put into action by a film publicist Leo Seltzer. He coined the term due to growing popularity of roller skating and dance-a-thons at the time. In 1935, first transcontinental roller derby was played in Chicago. This 39 day event received a lot of popularity from locals and outsiders and thus, the game gained a lot of fans from the start itself. In 1940, more than 5 million spectators watched the sport in around 50 American cities. However, the showmanship of the roller derby ended with the sport's grass root revival of its contemporary style during the 21st century. Roller Derby now is fairly dominated by all-female teams but the sport does have a growing number of male, unisex and junior roller derby teams.
By: Neha Maheshwari
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